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Saturday, April 04, 2009

Torpedoed by Brokeness

The tyranny of clutter, and the relentlessness of needing to feed and clothe and maintain six lives (directly, not to mention the team's indirectly) challenges my Sermon-on-the-Mount No-Worry-about-Tomorrow faith. For Scott, though, it is the torpedoing effect of one broken item after another that spins the day into crisis. Yesterday he was driving through Bundibugyo Town with our new family the Clarks as well as Nathan, where they had gone with him to his weekly clinic there at the hospital as well as essential visits to the bank, post - office, market, fuel station, etc. A simple bolt which held a shock absorber in place evidently reached its last shred of tensile strength against the relentless jolting harshness of the Bundibugyo roads. When the bolt gave way, the shock absorber did too, and before they knew it the entire massive spring coil that holds up the car frame was dislodged. The truck was immobilized, leaving a nap-deprived two year old and several thirsty missionaries on the side of the road. Three hours, two jacks, lots of advice and entertained onlookers, sweat and grit, and one trip to the used-bolt duka later . . . the spring was seated back in its home bracket, but it pretty much killed half the day for half the team. This on top of two broken weed wackers, a toilet with a stuck valve that ended up draining our entire water tank before we knew it, multiple broken spokes on my bike still waiting for a repair, all four fuses blowing out in the inverter when I turned on a blender (which I use all the time), the fear that this event had zapped Scott's back-up hard drive with all our photos (that was recovered, thank God, but again with time and work), our dairy cow suffering from her third episode of mastitis since calving and needing roping for injections twice a day, a broken light cord, a continuing war against roaches in our kitchen, the hospital fridge out of propane meaning we have to rescue all the vaccines in our own so that thousands of kids don't get the same whooping cough I have . . . all that in the last day and a half, not to mention walking through an appendicitis scare with one of our teammates (it wasn't, but the burden of deciding NOT to evacuate someone is still heavy). And this morning he's been gone for the last hour at the air strip trying to repair the mower that will prepare the landing area for the Sudan team's visit next week. So we feel buffeted by the onslaught of inconvenience, the demands of broken things needing attention. Luke suggested we should just live without our car, bikes, fridge, toilet, solar power, and mowers. Tempting (briefly). Clearly they are technologies out of place in Bundibugyo, and it is no small personal effort on Scott's part to single-handedly push them on.
Here are some words from Jesus Calling. by Sarah Young, a gift to me from Kim Stampalia (a great gift, I might add):
I am calling you to a life of constant communion with Me. Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on the cluttered plane of your life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted. But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world. Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all. . . Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me.
We could use prayer for living above the broken circumstances, for listening carefully so that we follow the path that includes the hard work of straightening whatever we are called to straighten and leaving behind the things we are called to merely accept.


Jessica said...

I have read and been encouraged by your blog over the past year and a half. I was reading this hymn this morning and thought of your family, and the daily temporal and spiritual struggles that surround your lives. I pray that you will be encouraged in your work and persevere in hope of joy to come and sorrows forgotten.

Thank you for faithfully living out the gospel in Bundi and sharing your trials in this blog.

Speed thy servants, Saviour, speed them;
Thou art Lord of winds and waves;
They were bound, but thou hast freed them;
Now they go to free the slaves:
Be thou with them,
'Tis thine arm alone that saves.

Friends, and home, and all forsaking,
Lord they go at thy command,
As their stay thy promise taking,
While they traverse sea and land:
O be with them;
Lead them safely by the hand.

When they reach the land of strangers,
And the prospect dark appears,
Nothing seen but toils and dangers,
Nothing felt but doubts and fears,
Be thou with them,
Hear their sighs and count their tears.

Where no fruit appears to cheer them,
And they seem to toil in vain,
Then in mercy, Lord, draw near them,
Then their sinking hopes sustain:
Thus supported,
Let their zeal revive again.

In the midst of opposition
Let them trust, O Lord, in thee;
When success attends their mission,
Let thy servants humbler be:
Never leave them
Till thy face in heav'n they see.

Debbie said...

Ditto to the above post.